Spill Your Expert Advice Please

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

If you were me, you would choose:

Boston University - 15,000 per year
5
14%
Boston College - 20,000 per year
13
36%
Fordham - no aid yet but expecting average award
4
11%
UC Davis - 15,000 per year
1
3%
UC Hastings - 15,000 per year
13
36%
 
Total votes: 36

Manimal
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Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 1:43 pm

I am being pulled in different directions with my choices, and would like to get some objective thoughts if you please. Here are my options:

Boston University - 15,000 per year
Boston College - 20,000 per year
Fordham - no aid yet but expecting average award
UC Davis - 15,000 per year
UC Hastings - 15,000 per year

Currently, I live in Berkeley and could remain rent free at home for one year should I decide on Hastings. I would not mind practicing out of state for a handful of years post graduation, but I do believe I want to return to raise children here. Girlfriend will be at USC for her program, so long distance will be a factor although we recognize our careers come first. I will have no parental support and massive loans to pay off wherever I am. Therefore, I will be seeking a biglaw position for as long as I can stomach it. Otherwise, I am interested in corporate law, contracts, military law, and academia should I find the time and money to pursue another degree.

I come from a poor background and thus I am still even paying off my undergrad loans. Furthermore, I really wasn't bred to expect much out of my professional life, and thus didn't really think about the importance of accurately reflecting my academic capabilities in my undergrad GPA. However, I was able to pull out a decent lsat with very little preparation and no prep course. Please no suggestions to retake and re-apply, I am not interested in waiting. My last point is that I will definitely consider transferring anywhere that will take me and increase my employment prospects. I am quitting my job on June 1st so that I may take Arrow's guide to heart and spend a couple months preparing.

That's all I can think of to help stimulate your responses. If you have any questions further I will be happy to respond. Feel free to respond with any thoughts or criticisms. Thank you.

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bk1
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby bk1 » Tue May 08, 2012 1:46 pm

So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue May 08, 2012 1:47 pm

bk1 wrote:So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?

you're the best, duder


Srsly, OP, retake that shit

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 1:52 pm

bk1 wrote:So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?


I understand the merits of another test. I just don't think that being such a heavy splitter next year would help me all that much. Indeed, I could possible squeeze into Northwestern as a splitter, but I don't hold much desire to go there. A great first year performace with a transfer will possibly get me to a better school than another LSAT score.

Thanks for your honesty though.
Last edited by Manimal on Tue May 08, 2012 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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flem
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby flem » Tue May 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Manimal wrote:
bk1 wrote:So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?


I understand the merits of another test. I just don't think that being such a heavy splitter next year would help me all that much. Indeed, I could possible squeeze into Northwestern as a splitter, but I don't hol dmuch desire to go there. A great first year performace with a transfer will possibly get me to a better school than another LSAT score.


What are your stats? Please define "heavy splitter". I'd be willing to bet that you're not since you're in at Cal schools, and they are known as being splitter-unfriendly.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue May 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Manimal wrote:
bk1 wrote:So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?


I understand the merits of another test. I just don't think that being such a heavy splitter next year would help me all that much. Indeed, I could possible squeeze into Northwestern as a splitter, but I don't hol dmuch desire to go there. A great first year performace with a transfer will possibly get me to a better school than another LSAT score.

in theory, top of class would get you a Yale transfer, while a 180 would not.

However, don't expect that to work out

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 1:57 pm

flem wrote:
Manimal wrote:
bk1 wrote:So you fucked up your undergrad GPA, you realize that you made that mistake, and yet you're still going to make the same mistake by not retaking the LSAT?


I understand the merits of another test. I just don't think that being such a heavy splitter next year would help me all that much. Indeed, I could possible squeeze into Northwestern as a splitter, but I don't hol dmuch desire to go there. A great first year performace with a transfer will possibly get me to a better school than another LSAT score.


What are your stats? Please define "heavy splitter". I'd be willing to bet that you're not since you're in at Cal schools, and they are known as being splitter-unfriendly.



3.1 and 167. A higher LSAT score would most likely be possible for me, although not a guarantee of course. Still though, assuming I bump it up into the early 170's, schools are still wary of such a low gpa. A solid first year can erase that apprehension. I know a top class ranking is not a guarantee either though.

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bk1
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby bk1 » Tue May 08, 2012 1:59 pm

Manimal wrote:I understand the merits of another test. I just don't think that being such a heavy splitter next year would help me all that much. Indeed, I could possible squeeze into Northwestern as a splitter, but I don't hol dmuch desire to go there. A great first year performace with a transfer will possibly get me to a better school than another LSAT score.


If you truly do want corporate law you should probably at least consider the T14's you could get into (UVA/UMich/NU/GULC/Cornell). Your chances of doing corporate law from the schools you are in at now are 20-30% at best. That being said, your chances of academia even from the T14 are slim to none. I'm not sure what you mean by "contracts" as that is a pretty broad description. I also don't know anything about JAG.

Are you a URM? Your awards seem to be pretty substantial for a 3.17/167, meaning that you might be able to snag money from the T14 with a 170+. Alternatively, you might be able to snag even more money from the schools you are looking at now.

As for transferring there's no guarantee you will have a great first year performance. You have less than a 20% chance of being able to transfer. Even if you were able to transfer there are other issues. You'd be a transfer. You'd be much better off having a great first year performance at a T14 than you would if you had a great first year performance at a T1 and then transferred to a T14.

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Smumps
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Smumps » Tue May 08, 2012 2:00 pm

Manimal wrote:3.1 and 167. A higher LSAT score would most likely be possible for me, although not a guarantee of course. Still though, assuming I bump it up into the early 170's, schools are still wary of such a low gpa. A solid first year can erase that apprehension. I know a top class ranking is not a guarantee either though.


Bumping up that LSAT score to 170+ is FAR more likely than a top class ranking. If you are confident that you can do better, send in a seat deposit for somewhere, then study your ass off for June. Hit in the 170s, shoot for NU. Otherwise, go and kill it at the school.

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Smumps
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Smumps » Tue May 08, 2012 2:01 pm

Also, I voted Hastings. Rent free (and probably some free food) without need for a car is worth a good 15-20k/year, if not more. Take the money and run (toward the Tenderloin. Don't talk to strangers).

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 2:04 pm

No I am not an URM. Although I mentioned the diversity in my life experiences. I feel I am a diverse student, but not the kind of diverse student a school is gonna slap on their brochure. Transferring would be difficult. Of my options, which do you think is the smartest should I end up trying to transfer?

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Smumps
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Smumps » Tue May 08, 2012 2:07 pm

Manimal wrote:No I am not an URM. Although I mentioned the diversity in my life experiences. I feel I am a diverse student, but not the kind of diverse student a school is gonna slap on their brochure. Transferring would be difficult. Of my options, which do you think is the smartest should I end up trying to transfer?


Hastings. So in the likely chance you don't hit the requisite class rank to transfer, you pay the least over the 3 years.

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bk1
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby bk1 » Tue May 08, 2012 2:08 pm

Manimal wrote:No I am not an URM. Although I mentioned the diversity in my life experiences. I feel I am a diverse student, but not the kind of diverse student a school is gonna slap on their brochure. Transferring would be difficult. Of my options, which do you think is the smartest should I end up trying to transfer?


Transferring shouldn't even factor in.

What should factor in cost/job prospects/location. Hastings wins here since you want CA and since you can live at home it is the cheapest.

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Samara
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Samara » Tue May 08, 2012 2:11 pm

Voted Hastings, but please retake. Seriously.

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 2:13 pm

Thanks to all for your thoughts. I have been leaning toward Hastings as well. Question: why Hastings over Davis? Does anybody have any insight into job propspects between the two? The consensus among my office seems to be Hastings is more reputable. Why is Davis even ranked higher?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue May 08, 2012 2:14 pm

Throw out BC, BU, and Fordham if you want to practice in California.

Then it's between Hastings and Davis. Pick your favorite, but either one is too expensive at that price.

Retake and reapply. Gun for USC/UCLA.

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bk1
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby bk1 » Tue May 08, 2012 2:15 pm

Manimal wrote:Thanks to all for your thoughts. I have been leaning toward Hastings as well. Question: why Hastings over Davis? Does anybody have any insight into job propspects between the two? The consensus among my office seems to be Hastings is more reputable. Why is Davis even ranked higher?


They are peer schools with equal employment prospects. Hastings seems more reputable since it has a longer history but Davis has achieved parity with Hastings in regards to job prospects. Davis is supposedly ranked higher because the USNWR methodology isn't particularly meaningful (it attempts to rank schools according to job prospects and does a decent job for the top 18 or so schools but fails miserably after that).

Hastings over Davis since you can save money by living at home.

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 4:08 pm

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and advice. Yes, I do wish I had gotten my shit together earlier and actually prepared fully for the LSAT. However, given my situation and the thoughts of you TLS'ers, I will make due with what I have.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 08, 2012 6:50 pm

A score of 167 on the LSAT with "very little preparation & no prep course".

1) Law school may be a very unpleasant experience if this is your standard mode of operation.

2) Forget litigation as judges notice when one is unprepared & "winging it" rarely produces good results.

3) A few more points & you could be looking at much better options career-wise & financially.

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quiver
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby quiver » Tue May 08, 2012 7:13 pm

Just put transferring out of your mind; as far as you're concerned it is not even a realistic possibility. The only worthwhile transfers from these schools would require you to be at least top 10%. There's a 90% chance of that not happening.

Manimal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Manimal » Tue May 08, 2012 8:16 pm

Well, I work in plaintiff's side litigation now as a paralegal. I definitely know how to prepare but thanks for the heads up. I put as much time as I could into the LSAT considering I was working way too many hours per week at the time, including weekends. That all doesn't matter though.

I'm wondering why you guys seem to think transferring is out of the question? Saying that because I have to be in the top 10% of the class means I have a 90% chance of not making it, is not really accurate. By that logic, to do better on the LSAT means I will only have less than a 4% chance of scoring in the 96th percentile or above. A class size will for sure contain students who will do better than me, but it is not a random drawing of who gets ranked in the top 10%. I can be active about it at least. Am I looking at this wrong?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue May 08, 2012 8:28 pm

Manimal wrote:Well, I work in plaintiff's side litigation now as a paralegal. I definitely know how to prepare but thanks for the heads up. I put as much time as I could into the LSAT considering I was working way too many hours per week at the time, including weekends. That all doesn't matter though.

I'm wondering why you guys seem to think transferring is out of the question? Saying that because I have to be in the top 10% of the class means I have a 90% chance of not making it, is not really accurate. By that logic, to do better on the LSAT means I will only have less than a 4% chance of scoring in the 96th percentile or above. A class size will for sure contain students who will do better than me, but it is not a random drawing of who gets ranked in the top 10%. I can be active about it at least. Am I looking at this wrong?


Your LS class will be made up of people who scored near or above the 90th percentile and are similar to you in intelligence. The LSAT pool is made up of every idiot who signs up for the test.

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SaintsTheMetal
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby SaintsTheMetal » Tue May 08, 2012 8:31 pm

I'd go with Hastings. I'm from Concord, and definitely also feel like Hastings is viewed slightly better than Davis around here. if you want to stay in Cali, you're probably not gonna do any better than Hastings.. with a 3.1, UCLA and USC are probably not going to happen with a retake just because they care so much about GPA.. although if you did retake and reapply, you could have a chance at a t14 on the east coast, which may or may not ever get you back to the bay

edit: .... referring to Hastings in the Bay legal community.. I think Davis will have a leg up prestige wise if you get outside of the Bay, or people that aren't super familiar with law school rankings. Most people don't even know wtf Hastings is,, whereas everyone and their brother knows someone that went to Davis

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quiver
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby quiver » Tue May 08, 2012 9:06 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Manimal wrote:Well, I work in plaintiff's side litigation now as a paralegal. I definitely know how to prepare but thanks for the heads up. I put as much time as I could into the LSAT considering I was working way too many hours per week at the time, including weekends. That all doesn't matter though.

I'm wondering why you guys seem to think transferring is out of the question? Saying that because I have to be in the top 10% of the class means I have a 90% chance of not making it, is not really accurate. By that logic, to do better on the LSAT means I will only have less than a 4% chance of scoring in the 96th percentile or above. A class size will for sure contain students who will do better than me, but it is not a random drawing of who gets ranked in the top 10%. I can be active about it at least. Am I looking at this wrong?


Your LS class will be made up of people who scored near or above the 90th percentile and are similar to you in intelligence. The LSAT pool is made up of every idiot who signs up for the test.
Yes you are looking at this wrong. Law school grading is on a curve and you are 100% graded against your classmates. I don't really recall how the LSAT is scored but I thought that if you got a certain amount of answers right you got a certain score (with only slight deviations from test to test). In law school, there is no raw score just because you spot a certain amount of issues; if you spot/analyze 90% of the issues but everyone else spots/analyzes at least 95%, you will be at the bottom of your class. It's obviously more complicated than that and there may be more points awarded for better analysis of the same issue, etc., but I think you get the idea. And like Tiago said, everyone you are being graded against is of similar abilities.

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Chucky21
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Re: Spill Your Expert Advice Please

Postby Chucky21 » Tue May 08, 2012 10:15 pm

If you want more money and a shot at better schools then you have to re-take. That being said, this is not to imply that a low 170s score will guarantee you a T 14. You would have a shot at NU that seem friendly toward splitters, but schools like Cornell, UVA, GULC will most likely wl/reject you with your GPA.




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